Jamaat-ud-Dawa has re-branded under the new name of 'Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir', just days after its chief Hafiz Saeed was put under house arrest and a crackdown launched on the organisation’s activities.
The Mumbai attack mastermind had indicated about a week before his arrest that he might launch Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir (TAJK) to ‘expedite the freedom of Kashmir’.
It shows that Saeed had got a wind of the official plans and already had worked out how to resurface and survive after the clampdown on his ostensible network of the JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.
Official sources confirmed that the two organisations have started activities under the name new of TAJK and were planning to organise events on February 5, which is observed a ‘Kashmir Day’ in Pakistan. The TAJK banners have been displayed in Lahore and other cities and towns.
The group is also planning to hold a big Kashmir conference on Sunday in Lahore after evening prayers.
The TAJK has reactivated its donations centres and ambulance services in different districts of Punjab, including Lahore, which is the hub of its activities.
Local media reported that even after the crackdown on their activities, the volunteers of Saeed’s network on Friday actively participated in the rescue operation after a boat carrying about 100 passengers capsized in the Ravi river near Nankana Sahib town in Punjab.
A police official said law enforcement agencies were keeping a close eye on the activities of Saeed’s network and appropriate action would be taken.
“It is a sensitive issue and a measured response is needed to fulfil the international obligations of the country and deal with any possible fallout due to protest by followers of Saeed,” he said.
Various offices of both JuD and FIF were closed on Monday following the house arrest of Saeed. Both organisations were also put on observation under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
The government on Monday had placed Saeed and his four accomplices – Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz -- under house arrest in Lahore.
The Interior Ministry had also placed Saeed and 37 other JuD and FIF members on the Exit Control List, barring them from leaving the country.
Photograph: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters